Verwey keeps her nose ahead at Sanlam Women’s SA Amateur

Report fvrom Lali Stander

RUSTENBURG, North West (10 April 2010) – It wasn’t a great round by her standards, but overnight leader Illiska Verwey did enough to hold on to share the early clubhouse lead with Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini in the second round at the Sanlam Women’s SA Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

Dlamini, who won the Match Play title in 2009, dropped just one shot on her way to a four-under-par 68 for a share of the lead with Verwey, whose four bogeys added to a frustrating two over 74 and a 36-hole total of three-under-par 141.

The pair is two clear of local favourite Bertine Strauss, who dropped three shots on her way to a 73.

Defending champion Kim Williams managed to stay in touch with the leaders, but for a second consecutive day a bogey at the par-four 18th was her undoing.

The country’s number one ranked player completed the round in 74 and was joined at even-par 144 by Monique Smit, who also shot 74. Henriëtte Frylinck’s 74 saw her slip into sixth on one over 145.

Verwey endured 12 months of frustration before her game fell into place early this year. She won the Eastern Cape Match Play, the Western Province Match Play and Stroke Play and the double at the Kwa-Zulu Natal Championships.

The 22-year-old from lived up to her pre-tournament billing with an opening 67 to finish three shots clear of her challengers. A birdie at the second hole this morning saw her dip to six under, but back-to-back bogeys at the seventh and eighth holes saw the field gain on her.

“I struggled for rhythm on the front nine after that birdie,” said Verwey. “The course was a little wet when we set off, so the shots into the greens were a little longer. The pins were also really tucked away today, so you couldn’t really attack the holes.

“But mostly I struggled to get the putter going and only really found my rhythm on the back nine.”

Dlamini, who started with a par-birdie-bogey combination, had no such problems.

Wielding a hot putter, she completed the first loop in 36 and knocked in birdies at the 11th, 14th, 16th and 18th to vault to a share of the lead.

“I missed a couple of opportunities on the front nine, but I really got the putter going on the back nine,” she said. “It’s nice to be back, challenging. I think the final round is going to be really exciting, with all the top golfers still in the mix.”

But Williams, who won both the Match Play and Stroke Play last year, has been frustrated by a cold putter. “Tournaments are won or lost on the greens,” said the 24-year-old from Pretoria. “For two days I have struggled to warm up my putter; it’s just been really frustrating. I might have to stick in the microwave before the final round.”

Local favourite Strauss agreed with Dlamini.

“I don’t believe in giving up until the end,” said the country’s former number one ranked player.

“It’s not over until it’s over and if Charl Schwartzel winning the Masters has taught us anything, it’s that the fight is only over when the final putt drops on the 18th,” added the 18-year-old from Koster.


141 Iliska Verwey 67-74; Nobuhle Dlamini 73-68

143 Bertine Strauss 70-73

144 Kim Williams 70-74; Monique Smit 70-74

145 Henriëtte Frylinck 71-74

146 Talia Nel 72-74

147 Lejan Lewthwaite 71-76

148 Nicole Bekker 70-78

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